Republicans block US troops leave bid.

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by smartascarrots, Sep 20, 2007.

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  1. BBC Link

    Might very well be a cynical attempt by Democrats to accelerate a withdrawal, but I don't see how Republicans can claim to be supporting the troops instead of just supporting the war when they're not allowing troops to spend the same time at home as they do deployed.
  2. US politics is increasingly getting to the point that you have to completely disagree with the opposition even if its a good idea.
  3. Not that this story made the news over here, spamside.

    All OJ, all the time, baby!
  4. I am shocked, stunned and amazed! Soldiers being used as pawns in a political game? Thank God it could never happen over here....

    [Irony before you all jump in!]
  5. Seriously Mr. Tastic, what's your take on this? When I saw it on the news in the early hours I really wasn't sure how to read it given that at the moment what jimbo says seems to be the case, but I didn't know if I was being too cynical.
  6. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    It seems to be a very clever ploy to "support the troops" whilst hobbling the war effort. It would effectively mean that only half the US military would be deployable at any one time. Since it also says "home leave" that seems to imply that personnel returning from Iraq couldn't be sent to Germany, UK, Korea or any number of places outside the USA.

    The other question that this report doesn't address is whether it is just troops deployed to Iraq, or does include all those posted overseas?
  7. I got the impression it wasn't just Iraq and the leave was to be at their duty station rather than specifically CONUS. I think the BBC was focussing on the effects on ops in Iraq because of the other votes comin up on that theatre.
  8. "Home Leave" is a misnomer.

    Does anyone seriously think that for the 15 months in between tours that the soldiers would be on leave?

    Were this to be passed, there would be one of two effects.

    1) It would reduce the amount of troops in Iraq: The US Army, at this time, is simply not big enough to do a 15-on/15-off (or 12-on/12-off) rotation.

    Or for related reasons

    2) National Guard/Reserve troops would be called up more frequently to make up the shortfall, itself a result which would play well to Democrat White House ambitions.

  9. Seriously, it is all OJ, all the time. Actually ran a lecture on information gathering and research for a bunch of new undergrads last week and I told them that the cable news outlets are just hopeless if you want to find out anything of substance.

    I don't think it's really about people wanting to call a black cow a yellow canary just for the sake of pissing off the opposition. Although as C_T says, the actual idea- from the strategic/operational point of view- is pretty fcuk-witted, from a political standpoint, the dems can't lose.

    Iraq is a vote-loser for the GOP, who are restricted by their base. (About 75% of Republicans approve of Monkey-Boy's handling of the clusterfcuk, but that only works out at about 20% of the electorate.) This, for the Democrats, is what flag-burning and gay marriage is for Republicans- they'd rather have the issue than the solution, because every time the GOP filibusters or prevents a veto-breaking majority, they are the ones being held responsible for Congressional inaction and come election time, when all of the House and 1/3 of the Senate seats- and a large majority of the senate seats being contested have Republican incumbents- then the Democratic campaign strategists can beat the GOP over the head with it repeatedly.

    This means that the Dems can try all manner of hair-brained schemes in safety. They can be seen to be doing something without actually doing anything and they won't be held at fault for it, it'll be the opposition. From a political standpoint, this ideal because let's face it, Iraq is now the third rail of US politics- touch it and you die. You can't leave and you can't stay so WTF are you going to do? If you have a serious, realistic answer please let me know because my colleagues and I really don't have a clue and, as far as I can tell, neither does anybody in Washington, London or Baghdad.
  10. I'd be willing to bet good money on two things.

    One being that the Dems will oppose any all commitments to and good news coming from Iraq in regards to troops until the elections.

    Second, that the US will never leave Iraq anytime in our lifetimes. Sure we won't be there in the numbers we are now, but you can bet there will be some semi-permanent bases in the southeast where the oilfields are.
  11. Sounds about right.
  12. It is also a matter of Congress overstepping its powers to tell the President how to run the military. Congress has the power of the purse but thats as far as it goes. Same is true for their calls to force a withdrawal from Iraq. The democrats have had the votes to cut off funding for the war,but they dont want it to be on a party vote which would make them responsible for the aftermath.
  13. Oh fcuk, it's back.

    Yes, Congress as an entity has an approval rate of around 11%, but- and this is the bit that really matters- the important measure when it comes to re-election is the polling of individual Representatives and Senators amongst their own constituents- which is invariably much, much higher (unless perhaps you're looking at Larry Craig or ex-congressman Duke Cunningham). In other words, people tend to think "Congress is a bunch of *********, but our guy is one of the good ones."

    But what do I know about it all? I'm just an International Relations PhD with a specialization in US politics.

  14. Hey, Lofty. Look up the words filibuster and veto before you say that Congress has the votes to cut off funding.
  15. The main reason the Republicans fought to stop this was the one that smartascarrots "forgot" to mention at the beginning. Try surfing a few milblogs such as Blackfive/Greyhawk etc.

    The MILITARY didn't want it as it meant that units would rotate more frequently (think back to the 4 month tours in NI which became 6 month ones). If you rotate more frequently you lose experience and the death rate shoots up as newly arrived troops are more vulnerable as they get used to their TAOR etc or get demob happy as they get ready to leave. The obvious outcome is that a short tour then becomes one where troops arrive, do some hard patrolling, lose bodies at the start and then in some cases (as we saw in NI) they do the bare minimum and almost hide inside their bases to get to tour end without any more casualties. This encourages the bad guys (as we saw in NI...) to go all out and the situation then gets worse for the next recent arrivals who then have to fight even harder and so the cycle continues (as we saw in NI).

    THAT is why the Republicans fought against it and it is also why the Dems wanted it - the more troops that die or find tours harder and then complain to the press, the easier it becomes for them to sell the 'surge is failing option' to the public. And the Dems say "they support the troops but.... " Rhubarb.